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Commentary

Endorsing a ‘disaster’

Under some cynical theories, I should be happy to see the Republican Party collapsing under the leadership of Donald Trump. After all, I am a Democrat running for office in my hometown in Western New York state. But I've spent over 22 years in the Navy serving this country and its security, and ...

Even found funds ‘rotten’ in Forestville

Since there was not a reporter at our recent special meeting regarding the village of Forestville budget on March 22, it is my civic duty to let the public know about this Freedom of Information Law that I presented to Mayor Kevin Johnson:"I am requesting that you provide me with the last five ...

Dark secrets and keeping up with aging Jones

Some recent items in the news worth another look: Dieting and weight loss is a constant battle in the heart - whoops, the belly of America. There are as many diet tips as there are golf tips. Well, maybe not. I just heard yesterday that if I move my left thumb 1 millimeter to the right, I can ...

Do not wait to express future wishes

Imagine you are standing by a bed in the ICU. A close family member is critically ill and unable to communicate with you. The doctor wants you to decide whether to use high-tech medical treatments to keep him/her alive. Life and death decisions must be made now. You think you know what should ...

Learning life’s lessons at the start

I am in the land of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, "where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." I am awaiting the birth of my granddaughter, who might actually be here by the time you read this.I've been thinking about the world she ...

Getting by with a lot of help from my friends

People continue being good to me. On Sunday, a senior citizen at church baked a chocolate cake because she knows I love chocolate. During the break between service and Sunday school class, she cut off a generous piece and delivered it to me. That's what I call service! Then when I got home, ...

How sensitive should we be?

Cultural appropriation, or cultural insensitivity as it is sometimes called, is a subject that has recently become a major issue on some college campuses and elsewhere. It can be best defined as the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture.Controversy has ...

Those unnecessary leftovers

Writing about the poinsettia, I keep having the unnerving feeling that I've done it before. Like the different ducks from earlier Musings that all nest in trees, there is of course another introduced red plant we associate with Christmas: the amaryllis.It too has been tweaked to be available in ...

Warm recollections of Iceland visit

This will probably sound like a quirky travelogue. Meaning topically ambitious. That's to be expected when you encounter a place you once discounted, only to find it rich and full.Such is Iceland, Europe's westernmost country.Its topics are as diverse as those of us who visit. If you love ...

Obama’s ‘fair-minded’ approach in terror

In the OBSERVER's View, "Murderers must be destroyed" (March 25), this newspaper criticizes President Obama because after the recent bombings in Belgium, he "still will not refer to the threat as 'Islamic terrorism.'"I suggest it is laudable rather than deplorable that our president refuses to ...

Condensing the candidates, issues

This is the time of the year when we look forward to warmer weather, flowers blooming and planting vegetable gardens. We dust off the golf clubs, practice our putting strokes, and hit wiffle balls in the back yard. But it appears the political pundits and presidential candidates have taken ...

Human condition of hypocrisy

I think we are all hypocritical at times, simply because we can only focus ourselves in one single direction at a time. Our mind is somewhat like our eyesight in that it focuses on one scene at a time. Often the phenomenon of our limited attention, limits our awareness of affected things.It was ...

Why welfare spending crosses the line

This article is a follow-up from past articles regarding the invasion of non-residents from other states who have been crossing the New York state lines in order to collect taxpayers' money for welfare and free benefits the first of every month because the state has no residency law to stop ...

Water donations overflow from Dunkirk, region

Thank you, Dunkirk!I would like to recognize our Brothers and Sisters in labor and neighbors in the Dunkirk area.I'm sure you are aware of the tragedy in Flint, Mich. A very bad decision was made to change the water source in Flint, from Lake Huron to the Flint River.On March 11 Peter DeJesus ...

Two weeks ‘best for all’

I would like to respond to your opinion in the March 26 OBSERVER that the Fredonia Central School Board's consideration of a two-week spring break next year is the "worst."Your opinion is that if everyone followed the Board of Cooperative Educational Services master calendar it would be best ...

Revamped exams deserve chance

This month, students across the state will take the New York state grade three to eight English Language Arts and Mathematics tests. This year's tests will look different than those from recent years.The 2016 tests have fewer questions. They also have no time pressure so students who need more ...

Even intelligent embrace bad ideas

Brilliant minds can illuminate dark spaces of our knowledge and solve incredibly complex problems. They can make the world a better place and help us do things we couldn't do before.An unfortunate byproduct of intellectual brilliance is that it sometimes gives too much credibility to its ...

A happy Easter thanks to friends

Did you have a happy Easter? I didn't know what kind of Easter I was going to have. I thought, "This will probably be my last Easter and for the first time in my life I'll be alone."But that wasn't the case. Rob and his family had gone traveling. When they returned, he called me up to make sure ...

Truths about lies in economy

The truth about lies is that they cause us to distrust people. We lose faith when we discover a lie. We lose confidence in people we want to trust.The same could be said for organizations and governments. That is the state of our electorate now.We are in a state of confusion and denial about ...

April showers

Serendipity? Works for me.I suppose it would be equally legitimate to acknowledge I am seldom far away from my camera, making full use of that marvelous DELETE button (plus being able to enjoy seeing the results immediately). I do tend to quite freely snap away. Or, perhaps, I just see more ...